A/N: All franchises belong to the respective owners. Games Workshop for 40k, and Blizzard for Starcraft.
Chapter 2 is longer than chapter. Again, I would appreciate reviews. The constructive kind.
mr I hate znt nobles kill em: CMC armor is cheap, yes but is nowhere near astartes armour. Also, it is inferior to the carapace armour worn by the stormtroopers. They are superior however, to the standard issue flak vest of the guard. Tho, I dont think its much of an advantage. More of a disadvantage really, as a lasgun shot would kill a marine outright, making the suit useless for defense and just makes the user a bigger target. The guardsman also would die from a hit from the gauss rifle, but I dont the gauss spike would kill if it hit the guardsman on the chest (flak plates).
PeteSkizzle : Standard armor, yes. But standard weapons? No, the lasgun shoots out bolts of 19 MJ laser, that bolt would go through CMC armor. However, I have to concede that the terrans have better mobility, and as stated, standard armor. C-14's shoot out hypersonic 8mm spikes, they aren't much better than guard autoguns. Hell, we can see this from the cinematics, the spikes don't damage the surounding environment much. But don't worry, it won't be much of a stomp, as you can see later on. Stomps don't make for very good stories.
The alarm klaxons stopped ringing a few hours ago. Lord Inquisitor Joseph Surland lay on his bed. His private quarters was empty aside from himself and the chief medicae, who was currently going through his portable medkit.
'What happened to me, medicae?'
'Kid, you need to rest. You just took an entire fleet, unguided mind you, out of warp space. Intact. We sustained only a few that can be considered major damage. Nothing the mechanicus enginseers and techpriests can't fix within a few months or days if we can dock at a nearby world . You however, we cant allow to over exert yourself again in the near future.' Chief Medicae Sponsor was the only person, barring the space marines, older than the Lord Inquisitor. The doctor was pushing three and a half centuries of service to His Divine Majesty. He was even the one to give birth to Surland.
Sponsor's skills was peerless. He could even give an astartes apothecary a run for his money. The chief medicae was now simply packing up his things, content that his charge is no longer in grave danger. 'Now, kid, if you will excuse me. I have other duties.'
'You may go, then, old man.' Such familiarity came with serving with eachother for the better part of two centuries, but of course in public, such displays are best avoided.
Surland gingerly stood up, and realised he was still wearing his black stormcoat. Plasma blade hilt still on its baldric, his force staff leaning against his chair to his right, and the bolt pistol he gave Juxtra awhile ago safely back on his hip holster. He checked his pocket for one of his most prized possesions, and got a satisfying feeling on his upper right breast pocket.
The doors to his room swung open, revealing a clearly worn out captain Juxtra.
'Sir, fleet reports battle ready status. Weapons are online, sub-light engines are online but warp engines are down. Short range and long starchart scanners are online, however long range auspex are down. But sir-'
'but what, captain?'
'I don't think we can go anywhere, even with repaired warp engines. The astropaths, navigators and even the deathwatch librarians are seeking your audience sir, and the astartes specially request to meet personally rather than on vox.'
'Very well, I am in no mood to argue with psykers right now. I will meet them. Prepare the conference room, and ask all who wish to be present to be there within the hour. Emperor Protects.'
More than a 100 psykers of various roles and power filled the conference room.
Navigators, astropaths, seers, and 3 astartes librarians. The strongest of whom was a Beta psyker, and Surland was sure, regardless of being a tier lower than him, might still be able to kill him.
'Gentlemen, and ladies' he said as he saw a few female astropaths 'My captain reports to me you all with to discuss something?' He said in his most authoritative voice. The room was silent, all eyes upon the tired inquisitor.
The silence was broken by the strong voice of the Beta level marine librarian, Librarian Qixi, he believed.
'Inquisitor Surland, tell me, have you looked through the empyrean since you took us out of the warp?' This drew a hail of breaths from everyone in the room. It seemed that the librarian asked the question no one else dare ask.
'No, brother librarian.' Surland replied as he redied his mind. He looked through the warp and saw
But not chaos as he saw it. There was a distinct taste of serenity and peace, as if the warp was untouched. No daemon came assaulting him. No whisper of taint. No temptation.
Worse. No astronomicon. Emperor damn it, but he couldn't see the everpresent astronomicon.
He closed his mind. Coming back to reality.
'No astronomicon' He could here a few of the astropaths cry. Their souls, bounded to the Emperor's, are currently their own.
'What do you make of this, inquisitor? And you should be made aware, known stars are intact, but spatial anomalies are missing from scans of local systems.' Asked one of the navigators.
'The astronomicon disappearing could only mean two things. The emperor ,forgive me, may have fallen. Or we are outside of its range. However, worry not. I am sure the emperor falling would be heard as a psychic backlash enough to kill some of us more aware of such things. And since the astropaths are all still alive, that means the emperor is alive. And there is also the state of the warp...'
'My lord, what do you mean?' One of the sobbing astropaths asked amidst bouts of strong wails.
'I'm sure librarian Qixi and the navigators would agree, the warp is... calmer. When I opened y mind and peered into the warp. No daemon-' his thoughts were interupted. Literally. Someone was trying to scan his mind. Someone has the audacity to scan my mind! He gave a targetted psychic scream which should have sufficiently scared the intruder. It worked. The intruder's psionic waves receded and Surland knew he hurt that creature. Suddenly 4 more minds are assaulting him, and he could see the rest of the people in the room suddenly all flare up. They had realised what was happening to the inquisitor and put up their shields.
Surland was unimpressed by the skill of his attackers. So far, a single mindmaze was enough to keep them at bay. They did read minds like books, not like the mazes they truly were. They had finesse, no doubt, but it was a lack of skill. They were skillfull at what they were trying to do, yet that was leagues below imperial psyker training, what with fending off daemons all the time.
It was Surland's turn. He mentally grabbed hold of the 3 of the assaulting minds and fried their users' brains bringing them into unconciousness with ease, at the same time realising they weren't human. Protoss. Hmm. A new xenosbreed, he thought to himself.
The last one, unmistakably female, and more powerful than the previous 4, he grabbed hold and traced back to the source.
Surland burned her a small bit. Enough to hurt like getting punched lightly by an astartes, and mentally bellowed to her 'I am Lord Inquisitor Surland of His Divine Majesty's Inquisition. You have attempted to violate my mind, a crime punishable by extreme torture and genocide of your entire species, xenos' Surland let go of her mind, just before the pressure was too much and it would fry her brain.
He eased her mind back into her body, at the same time catching glimpses of her ship, taking recent memories as his mental tendrils let go of her increasingly fragile psyche. He could make out a few things that was relevant to him.
Protoss had not been in contact with the Imperium of Man. Indeed, her mind has no trace of knowledge regarding his immortal lord's realm, but better still, it knows of humans, and it is travelling with a human ship towards this location.
But humans working with aliens? They are either ignorant of the truth or are filthy heretics, or maybe, just maybe radicals like him. He will find out soon enough.
He looked around the conference room again. He knew everyone saw what had happened. Both mentally, and physically.
'You are all to return to your vessels at once. We will settle our problems at a later time. For now, even though the warp is not as hostile as it used to be, do be falter in your vigilance, brothers. You will be tempted to open up your minds more. I will allow you only to do so for at most half more than what you usually do but be on your guard. Chaos is cunning. Dismiss, Ave Imperator'
Surland was first to exit the conference room and immediately head for the bridge. The bridge was only a 250 meter walk from the conference room, and Emperor bless little mercies, on the same deck.
Surland found the bridge rather well, considering their abrupt entry and exit into the warp. Only 3 missing personell. Death by blunt trauma, it seems, basing on the blood splatter stains on the floor.
He found the captain over-looking the entire thing from his command dias, just below the inquisitor's own command chair.
'Captain, I want the fleet to form a spherical defensive perimeter around the Righteous Condemnation as soon as the psykers return to their ships. Spool up weapons, but keep them fired down. I want to be ready for any hostilities, but not to openly provoke it. We should be expecting visitors soon, and I do not know these Protoss and Terrans.'
'Your will, my lord'
The good captain set about his duties, while the tired old inquisitor sat on his command chair, and once again linked up to his ship, becoming one with it.
It was an old ship, and he was an old inquisitor. But several Juvenat treatments and extensive augmentics and bionics hidden under his skin has made him more powerful than a human on his prime, and he looked like he was just pushing on 40.
'Are those scanners going to be up soon, captain?'
'The techpreists are still working on it, my lord'
'Do a full range scan after they are fixed. I want to know whats out there, or where we are.'
'Your will, my lord.'
He, of course could do it himself, with his MIU link, but he preffered the captain do it. He was an inquisitor who liked to do things on the field, not in space. His expertise in the subtleties of a warship was a pale shadow of the captain's.
'Captain, prepare my power armoud, and tell Captain Orsfund I want him and 4 of his most trusted marines on board the Condemnation in a few minutes. We're going to surprise these Protoss.'
Raynor counted himself lucky. It wasn't everyday a terran was invited on board a Protoss mothership without probes attached to their rear quarters, but he felt apprehensive at the implications.
As soon as the hyperion arrived at the outskirts of the system the anomaly was located in, he found the Protoss has, as expected, beaten them there.
What was unexpected though, was the invitation to come on board the flagship. The Executor herself ordered it, but was unavailable at the moment, to notify him herself.
As Raynor now walked the halls of the Protoss vessel, he was awestruck as the sheer beauty and grace of the vessel. It was like a work of art in a deadly vessel form. It was beautiful as it was deadly, and he quitely chuckled to himself as the repition of the the Protoss colours of blue and gold somehow made the whole thing work.
The bridge was also something to be breathless about. The consoles were nothing like the bulky Terran counterparts, the viewport a massive orb of glass, and the instruments all look like it was made for both function AND form. He was silently hoping Swann wouldn't do anything stupid.
Lucky for all of them, Swann had taken the walk through the ship with uncharacteristical silence.
'Swann, how are you holding up?' Raynor asked to his chief mechanic.
'Commander. It's beautiful.' Raynor could swear he saw a tear form in Swann's eyes.
'Commander, I think that's executor Selendis over there' Chimed in a dutiful Matt Horner.
'I belive so too Matt. Tychus, behave yourself' Raynor added in as he saw a grin form on Tychus' face. The only other member of his little Party was Dr. Hanson, but she was quiet.
'You will wait for the Executor to summon you here.' Commanded the Protoss who had guided them this far. They were flaked with Zealots and where sure they couldn't get away even if they wanted too. Even with both Raynor and Tychus in the armor.
A scream errupted from the knot of Protoss around the executor. One of the templars had fallen to the ground, and Raynor just realised that he was floating awhile ago.
The templar screamed, psionically and it hurt even the terrans. The humans were confused, as the Protoss communicated psionically with eachother, and as such could only stare in bewilderment at what was happening around them.
'What happened!' Selendis cried.
'Executor, he fought back! And, he screamed at me. He psionically screamed at me, and it manifested as both mental and physical pain.' Replied the still reeling Templar.
Selendis had ordered them to scan the fleet after their typical scanners were repelled by unknown energy fields. They had discovered a huge concentration of psionics and as such, she ordered one of her best high templars to try and read the mind of the strongest signature they could sense. She had made a huge mistake. Evidently, it was too much for the templar.
'Templar, go rest. The rest of you, with me. We shalt assault his mind together'
Selendis reached out with her psionics. Scanning the space in front of her. She was not powerful enough to read the minds of everyone within a system, yet concentrating on a psionic signature that powerful enabled her to concentrate her considerable psionic might and attack the mind.
He sensed the 3 templars with her along her psionic attack, and they were blocked by a... wall? No, a maze. A psionic maze? 'How is this possible?' The maze was easy enough to navigate at first, but it kept changing itself. It modified itself accordingly, preventing them from reaching its source mind.
Then she flet a psionic thud. He felt tendrils wrap around the psionic signatures of the three templars, and they were suddenly gone.
Selendis was alone, and something grabbed her. She gave out a psionic scream back at the mothership. A scream even the terrans heard.
''I am Lord Inquisitor Surland of His Divine Majesty's Inquisition. You have attempted to violate my mind, a crime punishable by extreme torture and genocide of your entire species, xenos'
Raynor was still recovering from the sudden psionic scream. The protoss all around him were down on their knees, clutching their heads.
Raynor turned to Matt, 'Matt, instruct the hyperion to spool up weapons, I don't think we would be alone here for long'
Beside Matt, Tychus was already up. 'Geez Partner, what could make a Protoss executor cry so disgracefully like that?'
'What ever it was, I intend to find out.'
Raynor stepped warily into the throng of Protoss, towards Selendis, who was still trying to stand up.
By the time Raynor reached her, she was already on her feel, but still visibly shaken.
'En taro Tassasar, executor'
'En taro Tassadar, Freind Raynor'
'If you don't mind me asking, what happened just now?'
'We were attempting to scan their ships psionically as our standard scanners failed to penetrate their shields.'
'What was it, then?' Asked the impatient Tychus.
'Terrans. The mind was powerful. More powerful that what I believed possible, but it was unmistakably Terran.'
'Dominion? It's the Dominion? Should we prepare to jump?' Asked Raynor, clearly not wanting the alternative. A UED strike force now would be troublesome to say the least.
'No. They may be Terrans, but they are unlike what we have ever encountered. Their way of psionic battle is different, and I must say very impressive. We should-'
There was a loud crack in the air, and the smell of ozone permeated the bridge.
Raynor found himself staring into the chestplate of a Giant.
'No one move. Not xeno, not heretic. Not one.' Bellowed the giant.