Bellum pro Apparatus Deus

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Thanks Sakura.

next installment coming soon (as in a coupla days)
The planet is trembling, like a terrified child, everything is covered in a thick layer of red dust, and even my augmented lngs are struggling to intake enough clean air of keep my brain running at optimal efficiency.

They have come. the bastard traitor Horus Lupercal and all the legions that follow in the shadow of his banner, the legions that chant his name as they evoke the power of the warp parasites, i call them such for i will not call them gods, not now, not ever. my mechanical legions have been ground almost to nothing, the fleet of ships i built, which once seemed like so many have either been smashed beyond repair or fled by Imperial order to guard the homeworld, Terra, Earth. the formations of cybernetic, semi-organic and true flesh and blood soldiers that survived the immense orbital bombardments, which still continue to crack and shatter the planet in places, those survivors are near depleted, we have fought for months, people, machines and everything in between have bled and died to hold back these vicious invaders, for almost nothing.


We have bled them. vigorously, determinedly, but i have before me reports that all i have acheived is a temporary stay of execution for Mars.
Horus calls the other legions, The Alpha Legion, Night Lords and the Iron Warriors are abandoning their diversionary efforts and heading this way in full force.

Then again, that frees up the White Scars, Space Wolves, Dark Angels and perhaps even the Imperial Fists Fleet sent to take Istvaan V may arrive, but that does nothing for my immediate situation.
They are coming for me now. Horus, Mortarion and Fulgrim are coming for me now, with their elite soldiers, my defences are failing systematically, as i always feared they would when Primnarchs got involved, i can see their approach on the pict monitors as the Cybot Cogitators propell the remaining mechanical war machines against my enemies, but it is all for almost nothing.

I have one remaining card to play.

The Doors to my sanctum explode open, and i see three of the most powerful warlords in the galaxy standing in the doorway.
Where Mortarion and Fulgrim move away with their escorts, presumeably to hold off any counterattacks by my comrades in the lower levels of the facility, the Warmaster Horus strides towards me, his Terminator bodyguards facing away, just outside the threshold.

"So you are the little thorn in my side" his voice is like smooth silk, full of power, promise and conviction

my skin crawls and i resist the urge to drop to one knee before such a glorious and terrible figure
"I am" i manage, my voice barely a stammering mumble

"not so brave without your toys before you?" I bristle at the mocking tone, and my calm fails me

"Are you honestly so stupid?" my mechadendrites quiver with empathic rage and terror

"First you let Erebus trick you into fighting the Interex, then you let him trick you into fighting Eugan Temba, armed with the Anathame stolen from the Interex, then, whilst wounded on Davin, you tell Erebus, who for most of the vision hid behind the mask of one of your favored sons, that you will listen to no one but youirself, tell your brother Magnus to pretty much 'get fucked', then, fuck knows why but you decide to go along with exactly what Erebus, who at this point has been nothing but a treacherous snake, suggested, furthermore, let me enlighten you on one little fact before you blow my head off" i spit the words out fast and sharply, struggling only to avoid snarling as i mention First Chaplain Erebus of the Word Bearers legion

"I will allow you your final words" Horus replies, smiling, but if i'm not wrong, the bastards actually listening to me, then again, i haven't lies so far, may as well let him know the best part of the story

"In your vision you saw a world where your brothers were venerated as demigods, and the Emperor a Deity, lets place spot the difference, consider the legions that are still loyal to the Emperor, now consider the primarchs represented as statues on that shrineworld, they are the same, and whast more, without a hint of Psychic ability I'll tell you the future after the Seige of Terra, you Lose. you are annihilated, mind, body and Soul by the Emperor, whom you cripple so severely he requires the golden throne and a thousand psyker souls daily to continue 'living' as a withered, damn near corpse, Abaddon takes up the position of warmaster, renames the Sons of Horus the Black Legion and runs away to the 'Eye of Terror' so he can be near his parasitic masters, with the Emperor unable to do anything other than exist, and barely that, some idiotic high lord or other decides to make the Lecticio Divinitus the new imperial Creed, hence why the Emperor is viewed as a god and why the Loyalist Primarchs are represented where you and your brothers that follow you are not, but it gets better!" as i ramble, i notice that the Warmaster's bolt pistol is now pointed at my abdomen rather than my head, which is a marked improvement in my mind, and so i continue

"It gets even better, as i said, if you win, since the future you saw was without my, well, 'intervention' here on Mars, we can assume that thats pretty much a forgone conclusion, even if you won this war, there is a future where you once becoming Emperor Horus, proceed to destroy mankind in internecine warfare, and with mankinds extinction, wipe out the Parasites some of your followers revere as gods entirely, but sadly for me, this is where my little story ends, and if i'm not mistaken, my life ends" my metallic legs buckle slightly, and i drop myself into the command chair as i look into the Eyes of Horus Lupercal, his eyes burning like and ocean of petrol as his mind processes what i've just said.

For the briefest moment, i wonder if he might not shoot me after all.
Whoa.... You haven't written in a while... Still good, man! Badass!
The Laughter of a Primarch is a deep bass thing, almost gutteral, as if on the cusp of tremendous violence, but as the pistol is lowered, i realise it is an amused chuckle, and a rasping sigh as my entire body relaxes

"An what makes you think I am unaware of this?" Horus asks, and all that tension returns, every inch of flesh i still have goes tense, and I almost choke on the reply
"Because you'd have to be a complete and utter fuckwit to follow this course otherwise?" compared to the Primarch's, my voice is a tiny, sqeaking thing, pathetic compared to such strength and force of will.
Horus' lips twist in a small smile, and he activates his vox as he raises the bolt pistol again, but everything is washed away in a blaze of static and gut wrenching terror.

Everything but a screaming chorus of voices that echos in my head

we will not be denied
So close, and yet so far
pathetic failure
more time! i need more time!
death is the reward of the incompetent

the last, and loudest of the voices is one i recognise, reaching out above the clamor, His voice equal parts of amusement, fury and despair
"then let us see if we can change both past and future, little thorn" Horus' voice drowns the others out as oblivion claims my senses.

Date and Location Unknown.

"It is time to awaken, little thorn"
It is time to awaken, little thorn

Pain. an ocean of pain and a tidal wave of incoherent, garbled thought washes over me, like waking from an eternity of sleep, i hear nothing but the sound of an empty room that has that sterile, distinct smell that is an absence of any noticeable scent.
Every muscle on my body aches, and feels as though it is stiff from misuse, and i roll my head and clench and unclench my hands a few times before opening my eyes, the light in the room feels blindingly light, but after a few moments the glare dies down as my eyes adjust and as i roll myself off the soft bed i had been lying on, i notice that i am not alone in the almost unadorned room, a collossal figure clad in thick, well maintained and beautifully etched warplate stands before me, and look up with what feels like baited breath, i see Lupercal for the second time.

Horus Lupercal, Primarch of the Sons of Horus, wait. the armor coloration wasn't the deep Green of the Sons of Horus. the Armor was the white and black of the Luna Wolves, thoughts dance at the back of my mind, tauntingly close, but i still cannot connect the dots.
"you have lain on this cot for a month, Luna Wolf Librarians have filtered through your mind for treachery, hidden agendas and lies, all whilst you lay unaware of their intrusions, yet they report no deception in your mind, no purpose, no memories save those of some sort of idiotic delusional madness, yet you were delivered here in a stormbird bearing no legion colors, The Warriors who carried you aboard this vessel were astartes, but bore no legion markings or heraldry i recognised, yet had all the correct security clearances and codes, and had he not been standing beside me, i could have sworn Aximand was in command of this detachment, that along with yourself, delivered a dataslate, with a letter apparantly written by my-" the demigod began the tirade, i timidly cut him off with a cough as everything clicks

"Time Travel, future is past, past is present. what a mindfuck" i mutter, and Lupercals eyes narrow with distrust, i hold my hands up in a placating gesture before continuing
"sounds crazy, i seem crazy, so-on and so-forth, blah, blah, blah, lets skip past the usual cliches and shit shall we? as much as we dont have time for dalliances, if you can get me some sort of caffeinated drink and some smokes i can explain everything, and hopefully it wont be as much of confusing brainmelt as the shorthand version!" I say, growing slightly bolder as i remember this Lupercal is a political savant as well as an awe inspiring warlord.
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