Many thanks to my beta reader Crazy-88 for helping me with this. And now for the conclusion.
The Gods finished settling in. Though it would be difficult to describe where or what they had settled into -being manifestations of pure thought and psychic energy- Tzeentch began the explanation owed to their newest alumni. Thoughts and ideas filtered through the ether, mingling and connecting. There was no room for miscommunication, but plenty for ambiguity. Such were the paradoxes of the Warp.
"The first thing you must understand young god, is that Chaos does not get along. In fact, I am sure that you understand our opposed and often fratricidal tendencies, but you only received a tiny taste of the truth behind the matter. We Chaos Gods do not merely hate each other, we also hate ourselves," Tzeentch began. "We are conglomerations of emotion and psychic energy given sentience and purpose… but for all our intelligence we cannot escape our origins. We are hate given form. I am hatred of the present, Nurgle is hatred of the future, Slaanesh is hatred of the imperfect, and Khorne is hatred of…well, pretty much everything else. We lash out, each in our own ways expressing our hatred, and we destroy so much, spreading misery. This in turn spawns more and greater hatred that sustains us in an ever worsening cycle of destruction," the Lord of Change explains.
Tzintchi smiled faintly and then asked smugly, "Don't you want to change that?"
"YES!" Tzeentch roared, millions of years of frustration finally given voice. "You have no idea the plots I have been running since the very start, seeking to change the status quo."
"I knew," Nurgle burbles happily.
"Shut it Pappy, even I didn't know what I was doing half the time," Tzeentch snaps at his old rival.
"I know how the universe dies; you think I couldn't tell that you were plotting our downfall? You'll note that I never actually tried to stop you," Nurgle points out.
"Was that because you felt the same way or believed that I simply would not succeed?" Tzeentch asks sarcastically.
Nurgle smiled broadly.
Waving it off, Tzeentch continues and says, "Immaterial to the moment. In any case, subtly hidden amongst all the depredations I caused, and sometimes even engineered the actions of my fellow Gods, I was… testing the mortal races, trying to find a way to break the cycle. Most of them failed, badly."
"I like how you dismiss the near extinction of our race as the failing of a test," the Laughing God notes bitterly.
"For the longest time, I had hopes for the Eldar. They had their own, successful pantheon and an ancient, well developed culture capable of holding us off. Ultimately though, they were trapped in an evolutionary dead end, and thus useless to me. So disappointing, so much wasted potential," Tzeentch continues, eliciting annoyed grumbling from the Eldar deities, but a toothy grin from Slaanesh ensured that they did little more than that.
Tzeentch was about to say something more when the Emperor interrupted, saying, "And then I was born."
The Lord of Change glared at the God Emperor for a moment before saying, "Yes. And then you were born. I was aware of humanity at the time, the species factoring only tangentially into some of my plans, when they did something unexpected."
"Ten thousand years ago from your perspective, humanity was an active, budding psychic race. Those with the gifts never had to face true death, capable of reincarnating their souls upon the expiration of their bodies. But the powers of the Warp are corrupting and subtle. With each iteration, the process became harder, the siren call of the daemons becoming stronger. Before the age of agriculture, humanity would have been extinguished, destroyed by the mad decadences of those who should have been guiding others on to greater heights. Rather than face extinction as individuals, close to a million of those ancient shamans and witchdoctors assembled together and ended their lives, reincarnating as one. Thus I was born," the Emperor explained.
"It was… remarkable really. I watched humanity with great fascination from that day forth. You humans have some remarkable qualities. All intelligent species capable of forming civilizations have the capacity to cooperate, but humans are remarkable in that while they are complex, emotional creatures, they are capable of subsuming their identities into the group. The history of your species is littered with great deeds, both for the ill and betterment of your people, inspired by your passions and made possible by your capacity to band together and pool your power. Humans are perfect for Chaos. That's why I blew up the Eldar," Tzeentch gushes.
Slaanesh, Khaine, and the Laughing God all glared at Tzeentch while Nurgle chuckled and held out a bloated, flabby hand, saying, "Ah, those were the good old days. Pound it my brother." Tzeentch then proceeded to do just that, to the confusion of everyone else present.
"I thought you hated one another," Tzintchi pointed out in exasperation.
"We do, and we don't, it is part of the paradox of Chaos," Tzeentch says with a shrug. "Also, at the time all of Chaos hated the Eldar pantheon. Annoying gits."
"That is because we were in the habit of protecting our children from your foul designs," the Laughing God points out angrily.
"I know. Why do you think I was so busy during the years leading up to the Fall? I was distracting you all from noticing that maybe you should be pulling your followers back from the brink of destruction. The Eldar were… broken from the start, you all just managed to keep them on the straight and narrow for millions of years. I and Pappy started distracting all of you while Khorne moved the wars away from Eldar space, making them fat, happy, and bored enough to make Slaanesh. I of course didn't tell the Blood God how annoying the end product of this operation would be to him," Tzeentch says, chuckling at the memory of the joke.
"I remember that sorcerer," Khorne growled in annoyance.
"Blowing up the Eldar was of course just a means to an end to test humanity. Right as you began to regain the psychic prowess you once had, would you be able to handle the Warp storms the gestation of Slaanesh would cause? Would you perish in the dark like so many countless species before you, your souls consumed by daemons, or would you prevail?" Tzeentch explained.
Khaine glanced between Tzeentch, Tzintchi, and the Emperor a few times before summing up the Eldar sentiment on humanity succinctly, "Fuck the Mon-Keigh."
"Gladly," Slaanesh said with a smile.
Waiting for the side conversations to die down, Tzeentch continued, "Humanity performed better than even I expected. The Emperor rose to the challenge and took control of Terra. He united your race, gave them a single purpose, and began conquering the galaxy. Empires greater than the Imperium have spanned the galaxy before but none have ever succeeded in clawing their way back. For the first time in my long existence I was ready to test your species for a second time, to see if you had the strength to give me answers to the questions I sought."
"You turned my sons against me," the Emperor noted bitterly.
"Indeed. The Horus Heresy was one of the finer schemes I dreamt up. If it succeeds, then we gain a new tool. If it fails, then… well, let's just say that I wanted it to fail, although just barely," Tzeentch explains.
"You wanted me on the Golden Throne," the Emperor says, his eyes narrowed.
"Yes. And, as I'm sure you guessed, I was the one dicking around with the Thousand Sons and Magnus the Red to send you that lovely little message that ripped apart the wards of the palace and so badly damaged the Golden Throne," Tzeentch explains.
"A blind ferret with ADHD and amnesia could have told us you did that," Khorne points out sarcastically.
"SHUT IT!" Tzeentch snaps, causing the two gods to bristle at one another for several seconds.
Calming down again, Tzeentch resumed. "Yes, but what few could have guessed was that his confinement to the Golden Throne was intentional. I did not want him dead; I wanted him to begin the process of ascension to godhood. I wanted the fifth Chaos God, a Chaos God of Unity!"
"The Emperor would have brought Order to Chaos, as paradoxical as that sounds. Humanity would have been free from the terror of the daemons… because they would have become daemons. I like how you think," Tzintchi summarizes.
"Yes, very good my student. Of course, it had to be a slow, gradual process, mostly because it would take a while to convince the Emperor that Chaos was in his best interests," Tzeentch explains.
The Emperor just glared at the smug Chaos God.
"Of course, blowing up Slaanesh would have been a good way to earn some trust," the Laughing God commented dryly.
"WHAT?" Slaanesh cried out.
"He was the one who gave the Eldar, via me, the plans for the weapon meant to kill you and evaporate the Eye of Terror," the Laughing God explained, a smug grin on his face.
Tzintchi watched quietly as Tzeentch and Slaanesh got into a fist fight that was spectacularly un-epic for a brawl between two deities. The Laughing God let out a storm of psychotic giggles at his actions, while Khorne unleashed a gale of roaring laughter at his two chief rivals embarrassing themselves so. Gork and Mork appeared to be taking bets on the winner.
The Emperor just looked at him and said in exasperation, "We could only send back about a billionth of our total power or your sensei would have exploded trying to maintain us even in our dormant state. Thus… this."
Eventually Nurgle got so annoyed that he stood up, waddled over to the two combatants, although with all the hair pulling and slapping that was going on 'combatants' was a decidedly more martial term than the fight warranted. He then put a thick, meaty hand around each of their necks and slammed their heads together before separating them.
"Now, are you two going to get along?" Nurgle asked like a school teacher scolding two fourth graders.
"We will Pappy," Tzeentch and Slaanesh say in chorus, exactly like two fourth graders caught by their teacher.
Returning to their seats, Tzeentch then continues on as if nothing had happened, "Yes, I was planning on 'blowing up' Slaanesh, but it wouldn't have stuck. Silly Eldar, did you really think that dissolving Slaanesh would have actually removed all the things that went into making him? All those pre-Fall souls and emotions, you think they would just go away with the dissolution of the being that held them together? Plus, the effects on the living from all those emotions kicking around, filling their heads with dark thoughts… yeah, not pretty. Within a millennium Slaanesh would have reformed. Of course, the Warp storms kicked up by the detonation would have crippled the rest of the galaxy."
"We would have extracted the rest of our pantheon in the process and retreated into the Webway," the Laughing God says with a shrug.
The Emperor looked at the Laughing God and summed up humanity's view on the Eldar, "Fuck the Eldar."
"Oh, I have," Slaanesh noted smugly, earning extra glares from Khaine and the Laughing God.
Shaking his head at the immaturity of his fellow gods, despite having just been in a rather pathetic fight with Slaanesh, Tzeentch sighed and turned back to Tzintchi. "The upswing of all this would have been that the energy surging in the Warp would have been enough to launch the Emperor up to the level of full blown Warp God. He then would have proceeded to beat the ever loving shit out of the rest of us."
"Why did I ever let you convince me into any sort of joint operations?" Khorne asks bitterly.
"Because I'm eloquent. Besides, the same thing with Slaanesh would have applied. We would have reformed unless the Emperor decided to actively consume us, and thus become us. The only way for him to save humanity would be to join with us, to hold us in check from our own excesses, while we join real space with the Warp. It would have been glorious. Humanity at long last united under one, and only one banner, a psychic race of supreme strength, protected from the Horrors of the Warp by simple dint of the fact that they would have been allied with said Horrors. We would have marched on the rest of the universe. We would have seen the stars go cold and die and then moved to younger, fresh universes. All of time and space would have been under the control of Chaos and humanity, for all eternity," Tzeentch explained, detailing out his insane plans.
"I never would have allowed that," the Emperor says with a scowl.
Shrugging, Tzeentch replied, "The plan called for a full 20,000 year prep-time on the Golden Throne, 15,000 if rushed. I still had wheels within wheels within wheels spinning to get you in a state of mind where this result would be acceptable. I am the master of Plan ZZ Plural Z Alpha after all."
"So what went wrong?" Tzintchi asked.
"Despite all of our power… we got blindsided by something that fell out of the purview of the things we normally kept track of. We got hit by the fucking C'tan and their Necron minions," Tzeentch hissed, every other Warp God in attendance vocalizing their hatred of the Star Gods in one manner or another.
"By the time we realized what was going on they had already built enough of their Great Warding to have a 1 light year bubble where the Warp was all but totally cut off. The effects are actually somewhat subtle, in that it works less like a total area denial, cutting off the Warp entirely, and more like raising the energy requirements to punch through to the other side, somewhat equivalent to raising the potential to prevent quantum mechanical tunnelling in a system. It was still enough to blunt all but the most powerful psykers and prevent transition in or out of the Warp in the region they warded. Nothing we threw at them could get there fast enough to be of use, as we had to drop our ships out of the Warp and into real space where the speed of light limits such things. The Necrons had a year's prep time to prepare for any attack and then cut it apart at their leisure at any time as their drives weren't affected. They could hit and run with total impunity," the Emperor explains.
"The Eldar dared not venture into that space. It drove all but our strongest psykers mad and killed the weaker ones to be exposed to such… conditions. Even those that were not strongly psychic were still sensitive enough to suffer greatly for it. The Mon-Keigh suffered similar fates, although their non-psykers were mostly unaffected," the Laughing God continues.
"We Orks went ter git in on da scrap, but wen we git der da WAAAGH! died owt! Wot are Orks wivvout da WAAAGH?" Gork, or maybe Mork, it was extraordinarily hard to tell the difference, or if they were even separate entities, nodded furiously. "They's worse dan uumies they is!" the other of the pair answered.
The Chaos gods just all looked at Tzintchi and asked, "How the fuck do you think we fared?"
"I didn't ask," Tzintchi answered.
"Their base of operations so secured, the Necrons began to expand, setting up further warding relays on worlds they conquered and cleansed of life. The zone of control they had became unassailable within a year by sheer size alone. Across the galaxy their armies began to wake, spreading death and destruction in their wake… soon it became clear however what their full intentions were," the Emperor explains before pausing.
Finding the right words through his anger, the Emperor picks up and said, "Their C'tan masters are addicted to souls: human, Ork, Eldar, whatever. So long as they are individual souls, they will consume them like an addictive drug. They were going to create a galaxy devoid of the Warp, or at least devoid enough to remain unthreatened while still allowing their slaves to have souls, and establish a continual harvest of feed their addictions. They would create an order devoid of all hope, all species in the galaxy living out their lives as slaves trapped on dying worlds as the stars go dark. It would last for billions of years, but there would be nothing at the end, just burnt out husks where there should be vibrant life."
Gork and Mork unleashed a ferocious WAAAGH! before stamping their feet and proclaiming, "Dey woz gonna take away da WAAAGH!"
"Desperate times called for desperate measures. So we gods of the Warp set aside our differences, buried the hatchets," Tzeentch says.
"Mostly in each other's backs, but we're gods so that was pre-truce clearing of the air," Khorne says dismissively.
"Quite. Their Great Warding was still being built, so we still had time. None of our followers were particularly inclined to band together though, so we had limited options. Our only hope was to stop the Warding before it was built. Unfortunately, even then our options were… limited. The primary problem was that we have yet to figure out how to effectively put down a Necron permanently -bastards just teleport to a repair bay most of the time- without throwing them into the Warp, and with their Warp suppressing technology, that became impossible. The C'tan, were of course, even worse. We had no idea where all of their tomb worlds were. So a strike through time, while possible with the Warp, had no target, and we probably just would have awoken the threat early," Tzeentch details out.
"Fortunately, in my youth, I encountered an… unusual xenos species on Earth, one that I quickly put down while they slumbered," the Emperor said.
"The Angels," Tzintchi guessed.
"Correct. Now that we were sharing knowledge, I was quite surprised to discover that none of the other gods had ever encountered the Angels before. This meant that the Angels were at least 60 million years old, the time when the first Eldar and Chaos Gods were forming, with Gork and Mork following shortly after," the Emperor explained.
"We suspected that the Angels were another weapon created by the Old Ones to fight the C'tan in the War in Heaven," Khaine said.
"We were wrong," the Laughing God noted.
"When we cast our perceptions back through time, seeking the origin of the Angels, we discovered that they went back further than we imagined. The Angels have lain dormant on Earth for the better part of 4 billion years. In fact, their complete origins have to do with the birth of the universe itself," the Emperor explained.
"The birth of the universe?" Tzintchi echoed with a raised eyebrow.
"Yes. Our universe is… something of an accident. When the Big Bang occurred, another cosmos was caught too close and drawn in next to it, partially formed," the Emperor began.
"The Warp," Tzintchi conjectured.
"Precisely. Into our cosmos were born the C'tan, forged from the heat of the Big Bang. Forever would they hunger for that energy again, driving them to drain the warmth from stars, speeding the death of the universe. There were millions originally, but they were not alone. Within the Warp there was another intelligent species, one the agents of NERV and SEELE labelled the First Ancestral Race from their research into the origin of the Angels. Their degenerate ancestors we call Enslavers," the Emperor supplied, falling silent as Tzeentch again picked up the tail.
"To our surprise we discovered that the Enslavers were quite different originally. Curious and inquisitive creatures, they were… harmless at first, if such a word could be applied to anything in this universe. The Materium was so much more interesting than the Immaterium to them, so in the places where the two overlapped naturally, they ventured forth to explore. They could not last long at first, so they bent their powers to creating forms that they could inhabit from the Warp, remote controlled platforms with which to observe the cosmos. They began seeding the universe with Black Moons, out of which would spring simple humanoid bodies they could take control of, birthed by the species you call Lilith," Tzeentch picks up.
"As was inevitable, the Ancestors came into conflict with the C'tan within ten millennia of beginning their activity. The wars went badly at first, until the development of the White Moons and the creation of the Angels. The Angels of those days were… terrifying is the only word to use," Khorne explained, scaring the pants off Tzintchi.
"You… Khorne… terrified?" Tzintchi asked incredulously.
"At the end of the war there were less than a thousand C'tan left out of the millions at the start, thanks to the Angels. They were mass produced, entire Galaxies devoted to churning them out, and evolved quickly. A single C'tan could slaughter a billion Angels effortlessly, only for the group to evolve and by the billion and first to present a challenge, the billion and second to wound it and the billion and third to tear it apart. We could not kill one," Khorne explained.
"A fully evolved Angel was a killing machine of unimaginable power. They were capable of ripping holes in space time the size of the Eye of Terror at will. Entire galactic clusters burned. You were fighting flea larva in comparison to the Angels of old. Still, it was not enough. The C'tan destroyed the production facilities and then hunted down the last of the Angels, destroying every White or Black Moon they could find. The encounter badly twisted the Ancestors, transforming them into the Enslavers, who forevermore retreated into the Warp, only venturing back out to breed," Tzeentch adds on.
"For billions of years, the universe was quiet. A few Black Eggs had survived, seeding the cosmos with life, the life that the Enslavers would occasionally use for their own purposes. The humanoids that resulted were meant to have an Ancestor behind their eyes, so as time advanced they eventually evolved their own intelligences, their own souls. The most successful species in this galaxy to arise in such a way were the Old Ones, who quickly mastered the Warp and spread, becoming prolific. Eventually they discovered another species, the blighted Necrontyr, who were jealous of the life, health, and power of the Old Ones. They made war upon the Old Ones, and lost," the Laughing God picked up, the tale entering into territory the Eldar pantheon was familiar with.
"We like to refer to the Necrontyr as 'dumbasses' at this point," the Emperor noted with the sort of annoyance that conceals incredible anger at the actions of another.
"By chance, the Necrontyr discovered one of the few remaining C'tan and gave it a host form using their technology. The C'tan were pleased by this turn of events, and joined in the war. We don't know if they knew that these were the remains of their old foes or if they just wanted to stop the Old Ones before the reached the power to create something like the Angels to threaten them again. They gifted the Necrontyr with much technology, some from their intimate, instinctive knowledge of the physical universe, some stolen in the previous war. For example, their phase weaponry was reverse engineered from the Lance of Longinus developed by the Ancestors to control their creations," the Laughing God continued.
"We Eldar and the Orks were created by the Old Ones as biological weapons platforms in the war, the Orks as the ultimate bodyguards, while the Eldar as psychic artillery and summoning platforms for the pantheon. It was all a losing battle however, and once the C'tan transferred the souls of the Necrontyr into the metal bodies of the Necrons, they became unstoppable… except, somewhat fittingly, from the Enslavers. A sudden invasion by them caused a catastrophic drop in galactic population. The first of the Chaos gods were also forming from all the death and destruction being inflicted. By now the C'tan were addicted to souls and probably would have gone insane, or more insane in the case of some, with withdrawal. So they and their armies went into a deep slumber, to wait out the ages and let the galaxy heal while they plotted the downfall of the Warp, the only weapon that had proven consistently capable of hurting them," Khaine picked up the narrative.
"Earth, however, was special," the Emperor explained, stepping away to widen his arms and gesture at the black moon of Lilith around them. "Here, a Black Moon and a White Moon landed. Neither of the primary producers, Adam or Lilith, could tolerate the other as both were programmed to take control of the ecosystem to produce offspring for their masters. Adam was defeated and Lilith's offspring took control, but both were forced into hibernation from their clash, one that would last billions of years. Life on Earth evolved slowly and steadily, following the simple imperative to survive. It was left alone, an untouched ecosystem, the conflicting thoughts of Adam and Lilith subtly driving away other intelligent species. The Void Dragon picked Mars as its Tomb World specifically because it noted this strange effect and had the willpower to overcome it. Earth was the last stronghold of the Angels, the last place in the universe where the C'tan killers lived. But they are mindless killing machines, knowing nothing of tactics or strategy as these things were originally supplied to them by the Ancestors. They could not win a war on their own any more than a tank without a crew could. They never had the chance to evolve to the point where they could threaten the C'tan again," the Emperor explains.
"So we devised a plan… oh what a plan it was too. It took all of us pooling all of our intelligence to perfect it, and even then there was so much risk. We were going to have the C'tan complete the Great Warding 60 million years ahead of schedule," Tzeentch told Tzintchi.
Tzintchi's jaw dropped open in stunned amazement at the audacity of such a plan. If he hadn't already been a worshipper, he would have dropped down before them all in awe.
"Earth would remain unaffected, while the C'tan would win decisively and never encase their servants in metal. The Necrons would never be born. Better yet, the Angels, in their slumber, would be exposed to the Great Warding and evolve a counter measure… the S2 organ. No psykers would ever be born on Earth, and thus the Emperor would never be born and kill the Angels," the Laughing God continues.
Staring at them all in amazement, Tzintchi cries out in wonder, "You're fighting them by erasing yourselves from history!"
"They'll never see it coming, just like we never saw them coming. Turn about is fair play I always say," Tzeentch said with a mad laugh that the Laughing God quickly picked up. "The Eldar Pantheon died 60 million years ago, Gork and Mork were never spawned, and Chaos never got off the ground. The Enslavers went extinct, unable to crossover into the material realm to breed. As far as the C'tan and their Necrontyr followers are concerned, the Warp no longer exists. You know all about them, have countered their greatest weapon against the Warp, you have the greatest weapon ever used against them, and they don't know you're coming. The phrase 'perfect shot' comes to mind."
"As Tzeentch observed as well, humanity's capacity to unite into one common purpose will give you an advantage. From our observations in the shifting strands of fate, the Necrontyr, especially now that they've been dominant for 60 million years, are far more divisive. They know what happens to their slaves, the ones fed to the C'tan, and they do not want it to happen to them, except of course for the religious fanatics. They rule over vast holdings of Eldar and Orks along with other species, revolts suppressed by the simple fact that the overlords control access to transportation. You on the other have access to the S2 technology that you can use to gain access to the Warp, a smooth, steady Warp free of storms of predators I might add. Use your unity and their disunity to your advantage," the Emperor informs Tzintchi.
"You should probably also know something else," Slaanesh speaks up. "Because of your divinity being based off of your humanity, you cannot create Greater Daemons the way we could, but this an advantage in a way. You already care for your fellow gods, but if you wish to have powerful daemons, you will need to combine essences as humans do. You will need to mate and breed, need to create a whole family of daemons. Your brand of Chaos cannot stand alone."
Tzintchi smiled and said, "Interesting, and I am sure, fun."
"My servant had such a good influence on you," Slaanesh noted in amusement.
"Did you tell him that the woman he was torturing was destined to be his new boss?" Tzintchi asked.
"No," Slaanesh replied before bursting into mad laughter that Tzintchi quickly joined in with.
Once he settled down again, Tzintchi asked, "So how did you do it?"
Shrugging nonchalantly, Tzeentch replies, "It was just a matter of power to get what we needed back 60 million years. We convinced Abaddon to use the Planet Killer to destroy Cadia and then we whisked one of the pylons into the Warp and hurled it back through time to where the Necrontyr would find it and bring to their C'tan masters for study into the creation of the Great Warding. We burned out most of our daemons, the Emperor burned out ever psyker tied to him, the Eldar gods blew up all their Infinity circuits, and every Ork in the cosmos WAAAGH!'d at once, coincidentally blowing up their heads, to produce the required power. Oh, and we told the Chaos Space Marines the whole 'make the Emperor the fifth Chaos God' plot and how they were basically patsies in the whole thing. Abaddon's screams alone got us an extra ten years worth of time travel."
All of the gods laughed at that one, wiping away tears at the end and holding their sides, Nurgle summarizing by saying, "Ah Abaddon, what a dork. His expression when we told him that we made him the leader of Chaos because we knew he didn't have a chance of actually winning; now that was priceless."
Smirking, Tzintchi finally asks, "So what did Khnemu have to do with all of this."
"At the point in time of the Angel Wars… well, let me be honest and say that you are a complete bitch in most versions. Third Impact was such a pivotal point in time that a thousand different outcomes resulted, radiating backwards in time, creating a thousand different Ikari Shinjis. All were useless to our purposes, most either too spineless to be effective, or a few too confident to let Third Impact happen in the first place. There were also some weird versions, like one Shinji who went back in time to the beginning of things to change events for the better, or one bizarre world where Gendo wasn't a complete prick, and in fact things were rather nice. Those things just wouldn't work for us though. So we decided to skew the odds in our favour by giving you a mentor in the form of Khenmu," Tzeentch explains.
"We considered sending various other mentors, ranging from the Eldar suggestion of one of their Harlequins or the Farseer Eldrad Ulthran, a hilarious if ultimately unsuccessful timeline I might add, to trying the followers of the other Chaos gods. We settled on Tzeentch. Slaanesh would have worked too, but even he agreed that after Third Impact the results would not have been ideal for fighting the C'tan," the Emperor adds, a general shudder going up amongst every god except for Slaanesh.
"Wimps," the Prince of Pleasure sneers before conceding, "But yeah, that Shinji wasn't very useful."
"So we sent back Khenmu to teach you the art of scheming and to awaken your psychic potential. We also sent back that Keeper of Secrets to keep an eye on things and ensure the scenario had you accepting Third Impact, by generally making your life hell at key moments. You will also note that his gene seed is still intact, so we gave you the capacity to begin making Space Marines. So here we are," Tzeentch finishes.
"So where do we go from here?" Tzintchi asks.
"We Chaos Gods, or rather these billionth scale fragments of us, are going to give you what knowledge and power we can to aid you and your queens. The Emperor is doing the same to ensure that you remain human enough and we do not have excess influence on you. The Eldar and Orks have conditions though," Tzeentch says.
"We do," the Laughing God begins. "We want a promise that the Eldar will be left alone if you overthrow the C'tan and liberate the galaxy. You will not consume their souls because you can, will not prosecute them, etc. etc."
Shrugging somewhat indifferently, Tzintchi said, "If they come to us, no promises. If they make war upon us, no promises. But we won't actively be dicks to them. That enough?"
Khaine shrugged at the Laughing God before turning back. "We expected as much."
The two Eldar gods then dissolved away, filling Tzintchi's mind with memories of the War in Heaven and on Eldar technology.
Gork and Mork looked at Tzintchi and said, "Orks is Orks, ya gots dat? We gets ta WAAAGH! when ya win, ya gots dat?"
"They're free to fight as much as they want, but if they get driven to extinction for picking a fight they shouldn'twellthen it's not my fault," Tzintchi declared.
Laughing, they say, "Ya can try uumie" before they too vanished, Tzintchi's mind filling with primal fury and strength, along with the knowledge of how to create a proper WAAAGH!
The other Chaos gods faded away to empower the other new gods, leaving Tzintchi alone with Tzeentch and the Emperor.
"So now you go… but you were never really here, were you?" Tzintchi asks of his god.
"No. We only had enough power to manifest those tiny fragments after Third Impact. Even getting a Keeper of Secrets to function in this environment was difficult and chancy," Tzeentch admits.
"So those 'gifts' we received?" Tzintchi asks.
"All you. Your powers were blooming quite rapidly, and you three began to alter yourselves subconsciously according to the framework of Chaos Khnemu gave you. It was why we could not do a precise excision of your memories, the gifts you all were developing could only be lowered if you willed them, and such a direct attack on your mind would bring about instinctive defences. It took a lot of work to infiltrate Asuka and your minds, but fortunately you were horny teenagers, giving the Keeper of Secrets a point of access. Quite impressive really," Tzeentch tells him.
"Then I don't really owe you a kick in the balls, do I?" Tzintchi asks.
"If it will make you feel better," Tzeentch suggests.
"Considering you'll probably merge with me immediately after, I would just be kicking myself in the balls, wouldn't I?" Tzintchi points out.
"Good lad," Tzeentch says before fading away, filling Tzintchi with all the knowledge of daemons a Chaos God would ever need.
And so there was one left.
Tzintchi and the Emperor.
The new and old Gods of Mankind.
They stared at one another for a long time before the Emperor finally smiled slightly. "Really, I'm the one you should be furious with."
Raising an eyebrow curiously, Tzintchi asked, "Oh? Why?"
"Tzeentch was originally pushing to send back a Lord of Change to guide you. The results of all this would have been similar, but nothing would have gone wrong for you. Your mind never would have been clouded, all the disasters that befell you would have never occurred. You would have claimed divinity for you and your friends out of greed. I did not want that for you or humanity or the universe. So I convinced the others to send back the Keeper of Secrets instead, to utterly fuck you over, to make you suffer," the Emperor tells him.
Tzintchi bit back his initial reply and instead asked with barely contained fury, "Why did you do this?"
"To teach you a lesson, one you would never forget: when the gods are assholes, mortals suffer. Humanity, and even those xenos races you encounter, are not toys for you to play with, not just numbers. You will make sacrifices, you will fuck people over who don't deserve it, its part of being a god in this universe, but I refuse to let you walk down the same path as the old gods. Our arrogance led to our downfall, our toying with the lives of our followers left us divisive and weak. I made it so that you would suffer, so that you would remember what it was like to be mortal," the Emperor told him forcefully.
Tzintchi swallowed and considered this, before asking, "How much did you influence events like this?"
"Aside from sending back a daemon that would completely fuck with you and everything you loved? You might know I have, shall we say, some small skill at genetic engineering and biotechnology?"
Tzintchi narrowed his eyes as he realized where the Emperor was going, his fury only building as he realized what it had cost him…
"I was the one who told it to help out the design team for the Mass Produced Evas, to make them overwhelmingly powerful killing machines- incidentally after you off the C'tan you might want to look out for the Tyranids, we're not sure if they're still around in this timeline or not. If she who was Asuka hadn't been such a good fighter and conjured up those wings and weapons, she would have fallen with far fewer kills than eight. Ironically though, a strange resonance of warp powers may have prevented her from making that final kill, the numerology of the Chaos gods cutting off her ability to draw power after the eighth kill. But yes, I was the one that made sure that Misato and Asuka would be killed so that you would harness the power of Third Impact to resurrect them and ascend to godhood, and it was in fact all my idea that you suffer so," the Emperor told him.
Tears of pure thought and souls streaming down his face, each drop forming a lesser daemon as it struck the ground, Tzintchi lashed out at the Emperor, punching him square in the face.
"You… you fucking bastard!" Tzintchi roared and the Black Moon rocked with the thunder of his rage, only broadening the smile on the Emperor's face.
"I know, but if you're going to be the god for humanity like I have, you'll need to be one too. Humans can be so strong at one moment and weak at the next, and visa versa, that you must remember what it means to be human or you will break them. You must nurture them, spread them to the stars, and protect them from their enemies. You must know what will boost their morale, and what will crush their spirits. You must respect them. You must make sure that they never suffer the way you suffered".
Tzintchi swallowed his rage, and with the calm of an epiphany realized the way only a god could realize what a wondrous gift the Emperor had given him. Tzeentch had such hopes for humanity because they had hope, despair, rage, and passion and every other subtle emotional texture, and thus they could unite the wars of Chaos. The Emperor had ensured the in his mortal life Shinji experienced every emotion so that when Tzintchi was born he would be alloyed, razor sharp and super strong Damascus steel rather than brittle pig iron.
"I still hate you for this," Tzintchi pointed out, though his fury drained away as the truth of the Emperors words sunk into him
"Take it as another gift, a reminder to bring down other jackasses like me in the future. I have given you much Tzintchi, because I expect, nay, I demand much from you. Do not disappoint me," the Emperor warned him before fading away, Tzintchi's mind filling with the knowledge of gene seed manipulation and of other technologies the Emperor had mastered.
His nose also really hurt now.
Shaking it off, Tzintchi watched the Black Pharaohs circling about him, singing his praises for creating them. Idly he assigned them each a task to do, and they all flew off to accomplish them. Four of them picked up the canopic jars and carried them off, the souls of the marines still intact even after having carried such power. They would make useful servants.
Pausing, Tzintchi amended that thought. They would make worthy followers. The distinction was fine, but one he would not soon forget.
Exiting the meeting area, Tzintchi found that time had slipped away differently between the two points within the Black Moon. Asukhon had emerged from her gestation within Reigle and was waiting for him.
Of the many faces she wore in her divinity, one was as she would have been given another ten years time, of a woman in full bloom at the prime of her life, confident and mature, her body spectacularly muscular and athletic while not sacrificing a single drop of femininity. She was also as the ultimate evolution of the red-skinned demon form she had been developing in the nights of Tokyo-3, enormous ram's horns curling up from the side of her head, her hair beautiful burnished bronze.
Tzintchi smiled and looked hungrily at his two queens. He asked, "How do you two feel?"
"Tired… but fulfilled," Reigle replied.
"Ready to kick ass," Asukhon answered, licking her blood red lips eagerly.
His form beginning to shift and change, Tzintchi asked, "How about a nice threesome as we explore these new forms?"
Asukhon and Reigle looked over him for a moment, before Asukhon asked, "Do we have to share?"
"My dear wives, the inability to share is what got us here in the first place, so I intend to correct that error. Besides, there will always be enough of me to go around," Tzintchi pointed out.
Reigle glanced up and down over him before turning eagerly to Asukhon and said, "Mislaato would benefit from high levels of perversion and passion during gestation."
Caving, Asukhon sighed before irately demanding "I'll always be number one, you got that?"
"Of course dear," Tzintchi said with a growing smile… amongst other things.
Toji had been wandering for days. He didn't know how, but he had suddenly acquired the ability to walk again after… whatever had happened had happened. One day he had been lying in his hospital bed, listening to the screaming from the halls, followed by silence, and then the next day he found he could walk again.
So he walked, drawn by something he did not understand, drawn back towards Tokyo-3. He had been transferred to Tokyo-2 after the disaster, after…
He refused to think about that. He would just keep walking, just keep heading towards that silent siren song in his mind, and just keep slogging through the orange goo that filled the buildings and streets. He refused to think about where the gunk had come from or why he had not seen another living soul since that terrifying moment.
He walked through the ruins of the former military action and let a wry smile cross his face. He wondered what Kensuke would have thought of all of this stuff just lying around in the open, no one manning their posts. Why he…
"So you came too Toji-kun," a familiar, ragged voice said behind him.
Whirling about,Toji found a beleaguered looking Kensuke behind him. He was so relieved to see a human face, let alone a friendly face, that he rushed forward as fast as his tired, hungry legs could carry him and wrapped his best friend in the biggest hug he could manage.
After a few moments of trying to wriggle free, Kensuke finally managed to get out, "Need… air…"
Releasing him in embarrassment, Toji backed off and asked, "Do you have any idea what happened man?"
"No, I just… oh… my… god…" Kensuke's face turned white with terror and he raised his hand to point at something behind Toji.
"What is it man, you look like you've seen… a… ghost…" As Toji turned he lost all will to continue, struck by what he saw standing behind him.
It was Hikari. A somewhat older looking Hikari, but it was definitely Hikari, the only person Toji had ever felt comfortable opening his heart up to. His girlfriend. His fellow Pilot. The one who had, against her will, been responsible for paralyzing him. The girl who had been dead for close to two months.
She was stunningly beautiful in a mature, serious, and yet unbelievably cute and girly way. She smiled at Toji and said in an ethereal voice, "Follow me, you two are expected."
The two of them followed the inexplicable phantom into the valley where Tokyo-3 had once been, arriving faster than they expected, as if space or time had wrapped around them to shorten the journey and blind them to the activities occurring in front of them. They should have seen what was going on hours ago from a distance, and yet somehow they had missed something as obvious as an erupting volcano.
There was an orgy occurring in front of them on the smooth black surface that had replaced Tokyo-3. Hundreds of adult clones of Shinji, Rei, and Asuka were writhing about in just about every imaginable sexual act. Both Kensuke and Toji blinked and wondered how they knew the origins of these creatures. The Asuka creatures did look something like her, but only if she were a red skinned, horned Amazon in bronze armour. The Rei ones had a bit less of a resemblance, but that was because they looked like corpses that had been left in a hot swamp for a month. The Shinji things didn't even have faces and they could still identify them though! That made no sense. How could things that looked so strange and unlike their friends still be identified like that?
"The Lesser Daemons are expressions of the Gods will and, as you can see, the Gods are quite happy at the moment," a deep bass voice sounded behind the two boys, causing them to whirl and meet a giant in blue and gold armour. An old crow perched on one shoulder, a falcon on the other, a scarred dog was to his right, and Pen-Pen was to his left.
"All that need be here are here," Hikari noted as the creatures began to finish up what they were doing and fade away.
"What… what is going on here?" Kensuke finally managed to stutter out fearfully.
"The Gods have summoned those they care about to them to reward them for their faith and friendship," the giant explained.
"And those things?" Toji asked as the last of monsters finished up.
"Black Pharaohs, Reiglings, and Valkyries. They are the lesser daemons of Tzintchi, Reigle, and Asukhon, respectively. They are fragments of their masters' wills, creatures sent out to do their bidding, mirrors of their thoughts and emotions. I believe they were enjoying themselves as a way to pass the time before we arrived," the giant told the two of them.
"And… what happens now?" Toji managed to ask in dread.
In answer, the ground split open and three Eva sized figures emerged, like the lesser daemons from before but infinitely grander and more powerful. Here, Shinji's face was clearly seen if somewhat more adult and his eyes were pools of star filled darkness. The three humans in attendance all dropped to their knees in awe, while the animals grovelled and Hikari bowed her head.
Toji wanted to cry out that Asuka really was a devil, but fear stole the words from his lips.
When Tzintchi spoke, it was as a whisper so as to not deafen his friends, the words instead carried to their ears as if he were normal sized and next to them.
"My friends, today is the dawning of a new age. Today there are no more nations, there is only humanity. Before, we had no gods to unify us, but now we have created the deities so long absent. Now we have become the gods that humanity sought to unify it. And you shall become the leaders," Tzintchi told them.
He curled a finger beckoningly, causing Khnemu to rise into the air, gripped by an immense power. For a moment the Marine appeared to be disintegrating, but it soon became apparent that his armour was simply being stripped from him and gently laid to the side. Hikari floated up as well, but it seemed to be of her own accord.
"Khnemu, for what you have done for me, your reward shall be ever lasting life and immense power as a daemon prince, the first of your kind… unless of course you count Hikari here, but she is a daemon princess," Tzintchi informs his old master as power begins suffusing him. Hikari grinned, her own form rippling with the power invested within her by the gods.
Tears of joy flowing down his face as the Warp replaced his flesh with firmer stuff and as power and knowledge filled his mind, Khnemu cried out, "Thank you My Lord, thank you!"
"No, thank you," Tzintchi told him as Khnemu exploded and reformed as a radiant, gold skinned man of perfect form, every pore of his body overflowing with light. All that was left of his mortal form were two small, smoking balls of flesh that remained floating as the new daemon took station next to the gods.
Tzintchi then beckoned and Toji and Kensuke were lifted up. They were terrified, but they found themselves unable to act on their fear. Something from outside them was overriding their ability to act in even the most instinctive ways, which was a good thing for their pants.
Hikari drifted down to Toji and ran a finger across his cheek, saying, "Do not be frightened, this is a joyous occasion."
Now eye level with the gods, the two floated where they were and waited to see what would happen. The two pieces of Khnemu left of his flesh after his ascension floated up before each of them.
"In time you two shall join the ranks of our princes and princesses, but not yet. For now I need you two to incubate something very special and important, and to become my mortal generals on this world, to aid me in uniting what is left of humanity, to forge that which remains into something that will grow and prosper. I need you to become the first Marines. I need you to become my Primarchs," Tzintchi told them.
There was a flash and light, but no pain. When it cleared, Toji and Kensuke were lying naked on the ground, their flesh settling into place not much different from before, but already the new growth could be detected if you knew how to look.
"The seed of the future is now in your blood, in your flesh, and as you grow, something that will happen faster than you think, you will find yourselves stronger, faster, and smarter than any other mortal on this world. Enjoy your new strengths, for you will need them for the challenges ahead," Tzintchi told them as they tried to settle into their new forms.
All three gods then raised their fingers and said, "Arise the first Beasts of Chaos, progenitors and masters of your ilk."
With a snap, the gods transformed their servants. Rei's crow, Old Priest, became the first Carrion Crow of Reigle, a creature about as putrid and disgusting as it sounded, yet wise and clever with the knowledge of the ages. Asuka's Spartacus became the first Blood Hound of Asukhon, a ferocious creature capable of incredible violence and tender affection, depending on the situation and its mood. Shinji's Horus became the first Striking Falcon of Tzintchi, a fierce predator that always struck where it wanted to at incredible speed.
This left just Pen-Pen, who appeared to be taking all of the strange events in his stride.
The gods looked down at the penguin and smiled.
"Mislaato will have to pick a different animal for her beast, for we all wanted you by our side, and besides, you are far too good to call a beast. No Pen-Pen, because of you, we have decided that penguins shall have a place in this new order we are making of Chaos. You shall be the first to be blessed with the Mark of Chaos Ascendant, once Mislaato gets around to contributing of course. For now though, receive all of our blessings," Tzintchi tells the startled looking penguin.
Energy suffused Pen-Pen for a moment, blessing him with the Eight Pointed Star of Chaos, before he settled down.
"Rise God Emperor Penguin! Show your kin the path to enlightenment; join with humanity in the stars as friends, companions, and allies. So we have decreed it!" The gods spoke as one before descending back into the Black Moon, Khnemu and their beasts following them while Princess Hikari moved to assist the two new Primarchs in acclimatizing to their new bodies.
It is the 3rd Millennium. For more than six hundred thousand centuries the C'tan have ruled the galaxy, immortal masters of millions of worlds by the might of their armies. They are the drug addled rulers of the cosmos, fed thousands of souls daily so that their hungers may be satisfied.
Yet even for all their power, they know not what lurks in the shadows between the stars they prey upon. On a tiny blue planet circling an ordinary yellow star, young gods plot their overthrow.
From the shattered wreckage of their birth, already the survivors of this world are forging new weapons of war. Their numbers are small, but with each day they grow legion. Each new soul born is new strength for their growing armies. Greatest among them are the Space Marines, bio-engineered super-warriors, brought forth from a forgotten time. But their allies grow legion as armies of mere mortals are raised to fight alongside their superhuman brethren, and the great and terrible machines of war, the Evangelions.
To be a man in this time is to be numbered amongst the proud and few who dare to stand against the old order with guile and trickery more than simple strength of arms. To be human is to know that you have a purpose, to serve the gods sitting upon their thrones. To serve beautiful and passionate Mislaato, goddess of perfection and sensation. To serve grim and enduring Reigle, goddess of disease and mirth. To serve fierce and furious Asukhon, goddess of anger and war. To serve wise and powerful Tzintchi, god of trickery and hope. Hope for the future.
Upon Holy Terra the young gods sit and plot the downfall of the old gods, their laughter echoing in space between the stars where only they can hear. When they set out, there will be no peace amongst the stars.
There will be only war!
And that's all for now folks. I hope you enjoyed it, there may one day be a sequel, but for now I shall bow out, content with completing just the Eva storyline before going on to what happens next.