The granite and adamantium fortress had been in existence for more millennia than it cared to remember. It had a soul, a spirit, and it watched the lesser beings in the galaxy rise and fall. Its creators were long gone, but its systems functioned as if constructed only yesterday. It had been the home to a million different species throughout its long and exciting existence. It had survived them all, conquerors, despots, kings and scavengers. Earthquakes and volcanoes, the construction of massive edifices and their subsequent destruction; All events occurring around it, yet it had endured, its purpose never divined, its function only to provide sanctuary to those who needed it, its strength was its longevity. Now it remained mostly in the subterranean level, millennia of monolithic construction by the empire of man had buried it underground. Above it stood the massive production facilities that were so characteristic of a forge world. Nearly forgotten it remained dormant until its most recent discovery by the current occupant.
A brooding figure looked up from underneath his hood, at his prisoner. The low level of lighting and the flickering flames from a few exposed fires causing shadows to dance on his face menacingly. The man was spread eagled on a rack, which was placed nearly vertically. His eyes were closed and he was stripped naked. Massive titanium bonds held him firmly to the rack. The thick black carapace covering his torso immediately identified him as a space marine. The entry ports on his temple suggesting the possibility of previous psychic attachments. The hooded figure scanned the scene. The room was a large hollow chamber with many entrances. Large pyres were being stoked at various sections. Minions and underlings scattered about their business, trying hard not to draw the attention of their vicious master. A group of five red power armoured space marines stood in a circle, chanting unintelligible but powerful phrases in unison. Their magnificent armour blasphemed by icons and liturgies depicting their alliance with the dark powers, these were once loyal warriors to the emperor. The horned daemonic face on their shoulder pads and the presence of a demagogue identified these as word bearers, champions of the pantheon of chaos gods.
Three men stood next to the hooded figure, which was undoubtedly their leader, and watched the word bearers' invocation with disdain. They were all hooded and robed, black armour just visible underneath. The imperial insignias had been forcibly removed from their armour many millennia ago. They wore no signs or sigils. Tension was evident on their faces as they observed the group of word bearers give thanks to their patron gods, for the days' victory.
"How long must this alliance last?" spat one of the hooded men, looking at the leader expectantly.
"We would not have our prisoner without their help" the leader replied his voice a barely audible growl "but they now know too much. You know the drill"
The three men slowly produced three ancient weapons from within their robes. The blue white coils on their dorsum and the rounded design of the plasma pistols were unmistakably imperial in design, but from an era ten thousand years ago. They could punch through power armour like a bolt round through rotting wood. The gentle whine of the plasma coils charging was lost in the clatter of daily activities within the chamber.
The demagogue completed the chanting ritual in thanks to their patron powers, an evil smile playing on his face as he cast his eyes over the captured librarian. He was quite satisfied with the days' events, even though he had to work with these men whom he considered renegades and thieves, not worthy of being true followers of the might that was chaos. They fought for some long lost cause of vengeance, while the whole universe was there for the taking if only they embraced the pantheon of chaos as he, his primarch Logar, and his men had done ten thousand years ago. It was that weakling Horus, who lost the war, but now Abaddon was on the ascendancy. Their time would come. He looked enviously at the librarian on the rack. He had wished to indoctrinate this space marine, in keeping with his legions' doctrines. It would be a true challenge, a combination of the stubbornness of the sons of Jonson combined with the mental fortitude of a space marine librarian. To turn such a man from the false emperor's light would indeed be a great achievement, perhaps worthy of daemon hood. But he would first rid himself of these renegades. He would take this hidden subterranean fortress in the name of his daemon primarch. Hidden as it was deep within imperial territory, he would launch his assault from here, but first he would turn the librarian to the dark powers. But for now, he would settle for demanding his payment from the renegades before his men wiped them out. He turned slowly to demand from his counterpart the cost for their involvement in this alliance. The last thing he saw was the blue white flare of pure plasma, as it hit him squarely in the face burning his surprised expression in to his skull and dissolving the whole in to sludge. The screams of his companions, as they met with a similar fate was the last sound he heard before his black soul was sucked in to the warp to await judgement by the entities that lurked there.
Something in the warp, chuckled approvingly.
END OF VOLUME II